Wrestling dual meets in November are essentially false advertising.
Lineups are filled with backups as starters struggle to get to their weight down, a good portion of the wrestlers who do step onto the mat are not in the weight class they’ll eventually end up in and many of the competitors are still not in wrestling shape.
Does it make Desert Vista’s 46-32 win over defending state champion Chandler on Tuesday any less impressive?
Hard to say, and no one will care come February when the state champion is decided by an individual tournament, but it was impressive nonetheless.
The Thunder won six of the 12 matches wrestled and when the two forfeits they received are taken out of the final score, Desert Vista still wins 34-32.
“It’s not a statement other than we won this one match,” Thunder coach David Gonzalez said. “The young guys stepped up and did what they needed to do.”
While both teams were without some top individuals (namely DV’s Matt Mathers and Chandler state champion Tristan Moran), each also showed off their shiny new transfers.
Desert Vista’s lineup will be strengthened by the presence of sophomore Jeremiah Imonode, who looked strong at 170 after being a state qualifier at 182 for Horizon last season.
He was taken down in the early going by Chandler state qualifier Joe Miranda but Imonode eventually gained control of the match and secured the pin over Miranda in 2:51 for a 30-28 lead.
It started a run of four wins in the final five matches for the Thunder as Alex Bambic, looking slim and quick at 182, got a pin, junior Tristan Ezell had a major decision at 195 and heavyweight Brandon Fox had a pin.
Chandler had a new wrestler as well in Estevan Ulibarri, who was a state qualifier for Hamilton last year, as he handled Desert Vista senior Cooper Gardner with a pin at 5:51 at 145 after building a 15-3 lead.
“I love the way he wrestles but sometimes he pushes it too hard,” associate head coach Curtis Owen said. “We are trying work on that because he over-wrestles at times. If we can get him to have that same nastiness but under control, he is going to be tough to beat.”
The loss was an early setback and will do the Wolves some good in the long run.
“We knew it was going to be a tough match because Desert Vista is always strong and we had some guys not do their job with their weight (cutting),” Owen said. “It was a good loss because we wrestled hard, but it also showed us we have a lot of work to do if we want to be a top team in state again.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.
Desert Vista 46, Chandler 32
106 – Masterson (DV) by forfeit.
113 – Robinson (DV) by forfeit.
120 – Panepinto (C) pin Morales, 3:50.
126 – Devlin (DV) pin Jones, 3:49.
132 – Brady (C) pin Rodda, 3:10.
138 – Rico (C) maj. dec. McCarty, 14-2.
145 – Ulibarri (C) pin Gardner, 5:51.
152 – Moran (C) pin Bryant, 1:00.
160 – White (DV) pin Hale, 3:53.
171 – Imonode (DV) pin Miranda, 2:51.
182 – Bambic (DV) pin Crowley, 1:00.
195 – Ezell (DV) maj. dec. Zamara, 10-2.
220 – Lattner (C) maj. dec. Cugino, 10-1.
HVY – Fox (DV) pin Nakiso, 1:43.